Yesterday, the U.S. Congress announced that it is postponing action on the Stop Online Piracy Act [SOPA] and the Protect IP Act [PIPA]. In case you’ve been living under a rock, these are not your ma‘s tasty SOPA, or your abuelito‘s PIPA.
While defenders of these laws argue that they purportedly designed to stop the illegal download of copyrighted material or content from the Internet or activities that infringe US intellectual property rights, opponents insist that they curb freedom of speech and threaten the Internet itself. The reason for this insistence, as the wise folks from KhanAcademy.org so eloquently explain below, is that some provisions of these bills are both sweeping and ambiguous: a very dangerous proposition for the future of an online world built on sharing and openness.
While we certainly understand the importance of copyrights and intellectual property, LATISM is a community built upon open sharing and collaboration, as evident in everything we do. We believe that all of us are the online ambassadors for that segment of the community that doesn’t have a voice, and conversely, the bearers of news and resources they cannot otherwise get anywhere else. For underrepresented communities, such as Latinos, being able to fully participate as creators and distributors in the free exchange of ideas and information is not a luxury; it is as essential as breathing.
And so this past Wednesday, when millions of people all over the world wide web came together in protest, joining in was a no-brainer. This post is a way for us to send a HUGE thanks to our community, to the 13 million other sites who protested against SOPA and PIPA, and to those of you who participated in our Twitter chat on the subject this Thursday, for speaking up.
This week marked an unprecedented victory for the Internet community, demonstrating that when the people unite for a common goal, our voices cannot be ignored. Thanks to all of you, the bills have now been withdrawn, the first battle won in what seems to be a long fight for net freedom looming ahead. Yet, we cannot “dormirnos en los laureles”. The fight will continue and you better believe will be out there, shoulder to shoulder with our community. Pa’lante!
Image Source: sopastrike.com